Hilton Head Island Vacations

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Hilton Head Island vacations became popular only after the first bridge from the mainland was built in 1956. It has long been extolled for its beauty, however. One who did so was William Hilton, the English sea captain who surveyed it in 1663 and encouraged settlement. Some 10,000 years of archaeological relics, however, are proof enough that he was far from the first. The Spanish arrived in 1525 and lingered, as did a party of French Huguenots in 1680.

What to Enjoy during Hilton Head Island Vacations

This small island nestled near South Carolina's shoreline is shaped like a boot standing tiptoe near the Georgia border. Nearly split into two islands by Broad Creek, Hilton Head is crisscrossed by lagoons, inlets, fairways, and hiking trails. It is dotted by marinas, saltwater marshes, villa resorts, gated communities, and freshwater wetlands.

No matter your preference in recreational activities, you'll have a variety of options during Hilton Head island vacations. Hilton Head enjoys a semi-tropical climate all year long. Washed by Atlantic breezes on three sides, it is hospitable to young and old, the energetic and the leisurely. There are 24 championship golf courses, more than 250 tennis courts, more than 15 marinas, five public beaches, and countless bike paths. That's only the beginning.

Given that Hilton Head is both surrounded by water and crisscrossed by it, boating and water sports are understandably a popular feature of Hilton Head Island vacations. Harbour Town and South Beach and Shelter Cove, for example, are resorts in and of themselves. Many of the marinas offer both offshore and inshore fishing expeditions, sunset cruises, and wildlife tours. Kayaking and sailing are also options, as are deep-sea fishing and fly fishing. The island is a naturalist's delight, not just for bird watchers. Several threatened species--including the loggerhead and leatherback turtles--nest here.

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